Keyword Analysis Part II: Looking For Low-Hanging Fruit
by Damon G. Zahariades
An important note before we get into the article...
SEO is big business.
Not just because big businesses are getting into the game. But, because there's so much darn money in it that everyone is scrambling to get in the top ten slots for their keywords.
Top slots mean huge traffic.
Some go about it the right way (and we're gonna talk about that today). Some just don't get it.
Whatever the case, here's my favorite tool for analyzing keywords.
For keyword competitive analysis, it's THE most powerful tool in its class.
(back to the article...)
Getting traffic from the search engines for competitive keywords is a tough battle. And it's getting tougher.
This article will help you continue to drive traffic from Google, Yahoo and MSN while avoiding the sandbox where the bullies hang out.
There's always someone with a bigger budget and larger staff trying to bump your site from the top ten slots on the search engine results pages (SERPs). In fact, some keywords are so competitive that search engine optimizers (SEOs) resort to tactics that range from mildly scandalous to downright brutal.
Some SEOs cloak their pages. Some of them hijack other sites' pages. Still others file false DCMA complaints against their competitors, hoping the search engines will ban the offending sites without bothering to validate the claim.
Like I said... brutal.
Find The Keywords Others Are IgnoringIn every niche market, there are several keywords that everybody focuses on.
These are the keywords that command high bid prices in Adwords. These same keywords are also savagely fought over in the organic SERPs. Either way, you're gonna be a goldfish in a sharkpool if you try to rank for them.
So, if the competition for those keywords is so fierce, why are so many people content to be ripped apart by the sharsk?
Why do they spend so much time, effort and money competing for keywords they have little chance of ranking for?!
First, most people aren't creative. They can't figure out what unexplored keyword sweet spots are availabe to them (I'll show you an example in a moment).
Second, they're lazy. And when it comes to growing your business, laziness trumps creativity every time.
Third, they don't know about the tools that can help them. There are tools you can use to help you find the sweet spots of keyword territory. I'm using one of these tools right now that does this. Find more information about this tool here.
Whatever the reason, people are ignoring valuable keyword territory. They are leaving money on the table... money that you can scoop up by optimizing pages for these ignored keywords!
An Example Of Ignored KeywordsLet's say you want to rank in the top three slots in Google for the keyword "chiropractor." (We're not even going to touch how unlikely it is for a general keywork like that to convert!)
Do a Google search for "chiropractor."
At the time of this writing, there are 8,910,000 results. That number is NOT a real indicator of TRUE keyword competitiveness, but it's a start in the right direction. (We're gonna talk about how to do TRUE keyword competitiveness analysis in the next few lessons in this series.)
The first ten slots in the SERPs are very well-entrenched. How do I know that? From using my favorite tool for analyzing keyword competition. You can get a copy of that tool here.
Beating those folks in the top ten slots will be tough. A little too tough in my book. That is, it will require too much time, effort and money to knock them off their perch for the ROI I can expect from ranking for "chiropractor."
It's one of those high-voltage keywords that everyone in that market focuses on.
So, let's dig deeper for some less-competitive, undiscovered treasure.
Let's search Google for "california chiropractor" (use the quotes). Whoa, that a big difference. Now, we get 9,880 results. MUCH better! But, if I wanted to get into the top three, this keyword is still a little too competitive for my tastes.
With a bit of work, I can likely knock the 2nd and 3rd guys off their purchases. It'll take some effort, but I can do it. As for the guy ranked first... not a chance. He's entrenched.
So, let's dig deeper. Maybe there's some unexplored territory out there.
Search Google for "north orange county chiropractor" (again, use the quotes). Look at that! At the time of this writing, there are 0 (zip, nadda, zilcho) results.
Now, how easy would it be for you to rank well for THAT keyword? It's like shooting fish in a barrel. This is true low-hanging fruit.
Are people using this keyword in Google? Well, it may not jump out at you in Wordtracker, but think about this...
There are a LOT of people in Orange County, California. A lot of them look for chiropractors (heck, I have a friend that drives from Los Angeles to Fullerton twice a week for his chiropractor).
People are refining their search these days to get more relevant results from Google. Often, they're refining their searches by geography.
And not only will you easily scoop up folks looking for "north orange county chiropractor" but you should also rank well for "orange county chiropractor" (only 326 results at the time of this writing).
That's a pool I'm willing to swim in!
Cumulative Effect Of Ignored KeywordsLet's face it. Ranking well for "north orange county chiropractor" is not going to bring a flood of traffic like ranking well for simply "chiropractor."
But, it doesn't need to.
First, "north orange county chiropractor" is much more targeted. If someone is searching for "north orange county chiropractor" it's a good bet that he's having problems with his back and wants to fix it fast.
If you're collecting and selling leads (we'll talk about how to do this in an upcoming series, so stay tuned) to a chiropractor in Orange County, you can unload 'em for a lot more cash than leads collected from people searching Google for "chiropractor."
Second, you're gonna have a bunch of these tiny keyword sweet spots sending search engine traffic to you.
For example, you're not going to simply create one page for "north orange county chiropractor," call it a day and head for the beach. You want to create pages for...
The possibilities are endless. And cumulatively, these little sweet spots can add up to a flood of highly-targeted traffic to your site.
Are you getting excited yet?
Last ThoughtsAvoid the high-voltage, ultra-competitive keywords in your space. The time, money and effort you need to spend to rank well for them will probably give you a rotten ROI (most folks don't have a business model that can yield a great ROI from these shark-infested waters).
Instead, go for the keyword sweet spots... the unexplored territory of largely-ignored keywords.
They're much easier to rank for. And the traffic they drive is more targeted and easier to convert.
The traffic that only one of these sweet spots drives may not seem like a big deal. But, rank well for a LOT of them and the targeted traffic can pile up quickly.
As I mentioned, my favorite tool for doing a lot of this SEO analysis (which pays off big) can be found right here.
You can manually do everything this tool does for you. But, this powerhouse can do it in a fraction of the time and effort.
So, if you have no budget, do it manually.
But, if you have a few bucks to spend and want to save massive amounts of your time, grab a copy of this gizmo.
That's it for now. See you next time!
Damon G. Zahariades
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